Management of ibrutinib treatment in patients with B-cell malignancies: clinical practice in Portugal and multidisciplinary recommendations

Hematology. 2021 Dec;26(1):785-798. doi: 10.1080/16078454.2021.1980690.


Objectives: Ibrutinib, a potent inhibitor of the Bruton tyrosine kinase, has revolutionized the treatment of many B-cell malignancies. Ibrutinib has an established favorable toxicity profile with up to 8 years of experience in clinical trials; however, despite ibrutinib's favorable toxicity profile, dose reductions and treatment discontinuations are becoming more evident in clinical practice, particularly in the setting of specific clinical contexts and patient characteristics. This manuscript is set to provide practical recommendations on the management of patients treated with this agent in daily practice.

Methods: A group of multidisciplinary experts from Portugal met to discuss and highlight practical recommendations, supported on both literature and clinical insights, for the management of the treatment with ibrutinib.

Results/discussion: Handling of both toxicities and drug-drug interactions during ibrutinib treatment poses several challenges to healthcare providers and can benefit from a multidisciplinary approach. The involvement of specialties, such as cardiology, infectiology and pharmacology, can bring an added value to patient care, not only in anticipating/managing safety issues and dose adjustments but also in enhancing adherence to treatment, ultimately improving the risk/benefit balance.

Conclusion: By involving a multidisciplinary group of experts, this work provides a set of key recommendations to optimize care and outcomes for ibrutinib-treated patients. Despite not being a fully comprehensive review on the topic, it is intended as a framework to hematologists and other healthcare professionals who manage these patients in their daily clinical practice.

Keywords: B-cell malignancies; Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitor; ibrutinib; recommendations.

MeSH terms

  • Adenine / adverse effects
  • Adenine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Adenine / therapeutic use
  • Agammaglobulinaemia Tyrosine Kinase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Disease Management
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, B-Cell / drug therapy*
  • Leukemia, B-Cell / epidemiology
  • Patient Care
  • Piperidines / adverse effects
  • Piperidines / therapeutic use*
  • Portugal / epidemiology
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*


  • Piperidines
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • ibrutinib
  • Agammaglobulinaemia Tyrosine Kinase
  • BTK protein, human
  • Adenine